Saturday, November 25, 2006

Disappointed

An air con unit had been removed from a building at work. It did not look big in situ but sitting on the ground in front of me, it was huge.

'No matter how big it is, it still did not work adequately', commented a workmate.

(Has anyone guess where this is going? I have used the words big, huge and big again)

The person who spoke, I have lusted after for a long time, like twenty years, and my lust was requited in a minor way at a cmas party many years ago. He is from Mauritius and has black African antecedents. He was so handsome when he was young, nice and trim with a very nice bubble butt. And, we all know about how hung Africans are. But from the years ago brief encounter, I cannot recall how he shaped up in that area.

I have not flirted with him at all since those many years ago. I am one for the chase, not the kill. (character defect screaming out loud). We just chat about work or other inconsequential stuffs. But he started it again, to my surprise, so I will continue. He has put on weight now, as we do, and has smoke stained teeth, but there are enough remnants of the twenty year ago person for it to still work for me.

Back to the air con unit. 'You see, bigger is not always better. What do you think Andrew?'

I suppose my loins did twitch a bit when he said this. 'Maybe', I replied, cursing myself for my lack of a clever response.

But was he telling me he is small down below? I recall he had an affair with the local work tart who I doubt would be interested in someone 'small'.

Am I not sad or what? One sentence from a straight guy, I am conjuring up all sorts of scenarios.
Anyway, I am not going to be caught on the hop by him again. I have our next conversation choreographed down to finest detail. He will be sorry he started the flirting up again. I am older now and much less niave.

Workplaces can be boring. It passes the time.

(Code for TJ: GC and SD)

An Outing

No, I am not going to out our Ian Torpedo. Some time ago when carousing around Big W at QV, I noticed some very large boxes of soap powder, inlcuding the brand I usually buy, Cold Powder (sic). I knew how much I normally pay for a one kilo or one and a half kilo box so I got the Ericsson out and and used the calculator facility.

The price was less than half what we normally pay if we bought a fifteen kilo box. Hey, gotta get onto this. With management's help, we lugged a box home. The next, although it nearly killed me, I brought a box home by myself on the tram. We have since bought large containers of Windox and Comfart, again half price.

But no way was I carting a 15 kilo box home on the tram again. The net proved useful, as always, in locating a nearby Big W that was easily accessible by motor car. It actually was a bit further than it looked on the map, but as we were going to Brunnings at Altona, we decided to go to Altona Meadows, just a bit further on. It was a small shopping centre, but ok, and it had a great bakery on the outer perimeter. We bought the detergent, trollyed it to the car, trollyed from the car to its resting place in the spare room wardrobe. Don't worry visitor from Japan, I will make sure you have some space for your lame dancing dresses.

We left Central Square, I think it is called, in Altona Meadows and travelled along a minor road and then via the beach to Altona proper. Sydney excepted perhaps, I think I saw some of the ugliest houses I have ever seen. There was a mix from the seventies to current and without exception, they were horrid.

Sorry if I am offending some locals, and your house may be nice, but I just did not see it.

Well, management can't say I don't take him anywhere interesting.

Barmy Army

Of course Australian cricketers do not play well in fog, cold and rain. It is no wonder we lost the Ashes when we played in England? But do those English know how to waste money?

Fancy paying to come all the way to Australia to see their cricket team defeated. They could have gone to Blackpool, Bognor Regis or even for a nice break on the Costa del Sol to Benidorm.

Talk about living in hope.

A serious aside. Today I watched a bit of cricket. There were some Indian lads having a fairly proper game at Malvern's Central Park. One batter hit the ball out on the full, which I believe results in a score of four or six sprints on the board without him having to get hot and sweaty by dashing the length of the very green grass bit between the wooden posts. And all the catchers spread over the oval clapped him, even though he was on the other team. Is that good sportmanship or what? Wonder if it happens in Ashes matches.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Karachi Tram W11

R, henceforth referred to as Management, decided to not attend the work dinner at the Rosstown Hotel. He told his fave workmate that he wasn't going and she lamented who would she talk to. The others he said he had a headache and was going home from work early and he could use it as an excuse for not attending the dinner.

Instead the beloved and I hopped a tram to Flinders Street and walked to Russell Street and boarded the Karachi tram. Sadly Andy was not the driver. Lazy prick probably pulled a sickie.

We travelled around the city via Cocklands, sorry, Docklands and back to Swanston Street and then walked to Little Bourke Street and had a great meal at Lemon Bistro. A water main burst in Little Bourke Street a few days ago and it is still under repair so the street was blocked off to traffic. Made it a much more pedestrian friendly place Mayor So, so have a think about it.

Back to the tram. It was fantastic. Pakistani music was blasting from the speakers (sounds the same as Indian), the Brighton Antique Dealer's great nephew Roberto welcomed us on board, an old workmate was also on board, the tram itself was fabulously decorated. A stop later comedian Rod Quantock boarded and he performed very well. His straw poll of passengers worked out tomorrow's state election results. Either the Greens or the rich family dynasty Baillues(?) will govern from Sunday.

One of the Paki staff was just past his prime, thickening in the middle and in the chops, but oh, he was a very handsome dude. I'd do him, and if he was as good as he looked, he might even be able to do me a little bit.

We walked back from the restaurant after dinner to Flinders Street, hoping to see the Paki tram go past in the almost dark at 8.30, but alas it did not appear. And then Swanston street trams had been delayed, so it was a bit of a wait for a tram home. Management complained muchly.

Conversation when walking to Flinders Street.

Me: It is funny to watch the older interstate Anglo/Aussie tourists. They are so obvious and they look stressed and never look happy or like they are enjoying themsleves.
Him: I can understand why. It is hard being a stranger in a strange place.
Me: Melbourne is not a strange place. It is an easy place.
Him: It is not the Melbourne I remember and like. The ten years behind everywhere else Melbourne.
Me: What are these old dudes doing queud up at the town hall?
Me: Ok, yeah, it is different.
Him: You can stick your fooking global village up your arse.
Me: Better hurry along or we will miss seeing the Karachi tram go past at Flinders Street

I do remember the old quiet Melbourne. It was nice. But we have to move on, hey.

Music of me yoof #55

Music used to have some entertainment value for me, but I don't care for it much now. I do still like the music of my younger days. I just loved this David Bowie song, including the video. He was hot and did he and Mick Jagger really get fresh with each other?

Later, later
















I am ususally not bad at getting things done. Friday is vacumming day. Friday is procrastination day. I put off vacumming until later. It is usually done in a last minute rush before I have to do something important. I thought I would do it shortly after I got up this morning, but here it is, 1pm and it is not done yet.

I am off to the shops and I should just have time to do it before Management gets home from work.

I did do the tap washers this morning though. It was a slice of cake.

This evening is up in the air. Either R will go to his work dinner or he won't. He has not decided yet. If he doesn't, then we will go to the Little Lemon Bistro in Little Bourke Street to eat and then go for a ride on the decorated Karachi tram. In fact I will probably go on it whether R comes or not, after I have vacummed of course. Photos don't do it justice. It has to be seen to be believed. Does it make you feel ill Andy?

Edit: It is Lemon Bistro, no little. I was thinking of the Little Lemon dog boarding kennels.

Car crash

Those with inside knowledge will know there is a bit more to this.

I was in a tram this week. I was looking out the window as a car tried to pass the tram. I did not think it would fit between the parked car and the tram, but it did, almost. I saw a shower of glass go up high in the sky as the left hand mirror hit a parked car right hand mirror. It just got worse.

The travelling car swung left to the nature strip, presumably to recover from the shattered mirror. But it was at quite a few kms. She then drove into an electric pole, smashing in the left hand side of her car.

The tram stopped briefly, long enough for me to observe the driver getting out. She was an old woman, hunched over.

My step father is close to eighty and is a competent driver, but for god's sake, get these f*ing old hopless drivers off the road. Their irresponsibility is as bad as young hoons tearing around. Coppers ignore them as they are too hard.

I momentarily felt sorry for her, but then I know full well she lives in a suburb well serviced by public transport. By her clothes and her car, I know she can afford taxis. Get these past their prime people who have no driving skill off the road.

Today on my way home form work, I came up behind an FC Holden station wagon. For you youngers, it is GMH car from about 1958. As the car was in good condition, I thought it would be a young person driving a car that might be a bit hotted up. Nah, closer, it was some old bloke with grey hair. I was not in a rush and I like old cars so I was happy to sit behind him. I could see he had to do something with a large lever next to the steering wheel to keep the car moving, but he did that well and he kept up with traffic. He did not drive aggressively but neither over cautiously. Well done Pops.

My observations come from the areas I frequent in my motor and not a general observation of Melbourne, but my crap driver list is as follows, all stereotyping included.

(Sexist, racist, ageist rant about other drivers removed by author)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Connections to people

I went to a caf today, because I had time, to buy a paper and some coffee. I said to the owner, 'Ah, I know your sister Jenny'. Of course he asked how and I told him that R worked with his sister. I would like to say it was a good experience, but he was a bit weird. It is a good shop though. Although R later told me he has a Chinese wife and she is the brains and the real worker behind the business. Convenience store in High St, Glen Iris near the train station if you are wondering.

Better still later I ran into an old workmate. Now when I say old, I mean really old. He is 81. First thing he said was that he nearly didn't recognise me. We batted this around a bit and he really had no idea of my age now. He remembers me as when he last saw me, many years ago. I regained my pride in my youthful looks. The problem was not me ageing, but his memory of me. Yes, convinced myself.

I had limited time and could only chat to him for five minutes, but really I would have loved to have a long conversation with him. We talked about who has died recently and politics. Tas and (the late) Joyce were just one of the reasons why I stayed at my present job past three months. He was honoured a few years ago at some Centenary dinner in Canberra, flown there all expenses paid. The reason? He is a passionate unionist and has fought for his union for most of his life. He is an honourable person who fought through the union, and sometimes against, for the betterment of workers. I dips me lid to your unselfishness Tas and your efforts for collective improvement.

He bought his house in Malvern (value wise for you Sydney people, probably inner north shore) in the mid 1970s and had to borrow to do so. He panicked about owing $20,ooo and paid it off quickly. I would hazard a guess that it now worth around $800,000. His late wife Joyce used to love red. She wore bright red lipstick and black and red clothes. She grew up on the banks of Murray River in a hut. Her dream was to have red appliances, and sure enough, she got them well before she died. A red stove and a red fridge. I saw them. It is true.

I won't even go further about the starched 3d swan doillies he used to crochet.

Blog Reno

It is about time I did some stuffs to my blog, rather that just write in it. Time to add some new fave bloggers and perhaps remove some old ones. No offence, but if you don't post on your blog, then I don't see that it is wise for me to link to you.

Do you all hate my blog pic as much as I do? Me with a purple background. I must try something new.

What do I do about the neglected 'Stud of the Week'. Maybe put it to pasture for a while. Don't think many bothered looking anyway.

At times I have nothing to write about and then other times my head is so full of matters personal and non personal. I feel anger, jealously, dispare(it is clear that I have never written this word before as I have no idea how to spell it), disenchantment but mostly I am happy with my sad little life. I have family, friends, a partner, a nice place to live, a job and almost enough money to live on. I should be deleriously happy, but I am human.

This post was supposed to be about blog changes. The above just flowed out.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thorpie Retires

At the ripe old age of twenty-four Australia's arguably greatest swimmer has retired and is moving onto other things. Because he wasn't an ocker bore, but still a high sporting achiever, he made me proud and I hope many of you Aussies.

He does not seem to have a girl friend, he does not seem to have a boyfriend. He mixes in high circles, but no one is telling anything. He is not seen at 'the clubs', or if he is, it is not reported. There seems to be media silence on his private life. Perhaps he does not have much of one, but I smell a conspiracy.

But what is he to do now? One wag on the wireless suggested he be put out to stud. I am ok with that if I can do the milking. I will leave the insemination to someone else.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Weather

One blogger who I read visited Melbourne from Sydney last week. It was on that day we had snow down to 600 metres. At some point around midday, the temperature was around seven degrees. Naturally he bagged Melbourne's weather.

Yesterday and today, it has been 36 degrees. Horrible.

I was watching cars today. Some older cars with windows tightly wound up and obviously with working air con. Some newer cars with windows wide open, although you know very well that they would have working air con. Some newer cars, very small cars, that looked like the occupants were hot, but the car did not have air con. Some older cars that you know would have air con but it obviously wasn't working. But most cars do have air con now.

Our ex policeman friend's car air con broke down. He doesn't seem to mind too much.

I ran into famous bearded media person in lift today and asked if his big black yank tank had air con. Of course it did, but it wasn't working and he was waiting for a part from the US. Lucky he does not have far to drive to work.

Just before last summer, I had to make an economic choice between car heating or car cooling. The heating water tap was not sealing well and so leaking hot air when the air con was on. It would cost a lot to fix, not worth it on my old car. Heating could be shut off entirely and air con would work fine, and that is what a chose. Although it was a bit chilly last winter in the always less than 20 minutes I spend in my car, I made the right decision.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ferry Romance

Wouldn't it be wonderful to stroll down your Sydney north shore suburb's street to your local ferry wharf and commute across the sparkling blue Sydney Harbour to the City on a ferry. You arrive at Circular Quay and walk to your office.

Sydney Ferries is considering replacing their whole fleet. There are seven different types including the Jetcats and it makes it a maintenance and staffing nightmare. They are hard pressed to find ship engineers for the wage they offer and the average age of their engineers is 54.

They are looking at options such as buying complete ferries from overseas, or building their own and some other options.

Sadly I think they will be inclined to a more Jetcat type of boat rather than a traditional ferry, but that remains to be seen.

But it would be nice to travel to and from work on a ferry. However, they are not all smooth sailing, excuse the pun.

There are four large Manly ferries running back and forth. If these were fixed rail vehicles, there would be big trouble.

I can't find any accidents about the Queenscliff but how about Narrabeen; ripped open the shark netting at Manly, 1984, collided with Circular Quay Wharf 5 with one passenger receiving facial injuries in 2005.

The Freshwater, missed the Manly Wharf and ran aground on sand in 1983, hit the Manly Wharf in 2005.

The Collaroy, climbed rocks at Manly Point in 2001, fire in engine room, 2005, hit Quay wharf 3 in 2005, hit a pontoon at Quay wharf 2, 2005.

There was a total of eleven collisions by the Manly ferries in the twelve months up to July 2005, forcing the authorities to launch an investigation.

Rather dulls the romance doesn't it.

Drip

R's shower is dripping badly. It used to drip if the tap wasn't turned off tightly, but now it is constant.

I took the tap handle off and the cover and I was about to get a tube spanner to take the spindle out when it suddenly occured to me that I could not turn the water off as the isolation tap is in a locked service room. Each floor has one and they contain all the meters, mains taps and television and internet cable connections.

I could try to do it 'live', that is turn on all the other taps and hope this one, the highest, won't lose much water, but who knows what problems I may encounter. It would also be terribly water wasteful.

No, I will have to wait for a day off and get the buidling manager to unlock the service room for me.

R Rated Hoi An Pt 2

If was not a cafe in our sense of the word. It was a few seats and a few tables. Mostly men but quite a few women sat around at this and other nearby 'cafes'. The were chatting, eating, playing cards, drinking but not at all loudly.

The owner of the cafe was a drag queen and she was very friendly and nice. She had boy clothing on, but longish hair, makeup and nails. She seemed to know everyone there and those who passed by. She made us very welcome and we sat for hours with her and the guy we had earlier met, alternating between, coffee, local whisky and snacks. I can't remember her name now. She would have been under thirty. I had a hard time adjusting to the way she was accepted by all these straight Viet blokes. It is a bit like when you are served by a lady boy in a Bangkok department store. Only the foreigners take any notice.

Bu, the one who picked us up suggested we all go for a walk. We paid the bill, about ten dollars for all that food and beverage and set off over the bridge.

We felt quite safe, as we were twice their size and short of them knowing karate or similar, we could have easily overpowered them. Really, we felt safe because they were nice people.

They turned down a path and we ended up under the bridge. Well, they did not take us under the bridge for no reason, so some fun was had. At one point we heard footsteps and the drag whispered police to us. We stayed silent for a few minutes and then finished up. Just as we did, Bu was bitten on his private parts by a mosquito. What a drama!

They were keen to meet up again or go back to our hotel then and there, but we had to be up at six and leave Hoi An. Bad timing. Bu took R back to the hotel on a motor bike, I can't remember. I was dinked by the drag on a bicycle. As she pedalled up a bit of hill, she complained the exercise would make her legs muscly, not good for a drag queen.

It was a lot of fun and we parted at the entrance to the hotel armed only with an email address. We kept in touch with Bu for a while. I don't know their story really. They both spoke excellent English and had obviously travelled outside Vietnam.

It was a great experience and the only time we felt that we truly interacted with local people. The sex bit was a bonus. Although, I did later have nice chats with a street stall lady I used to buy water from in Saigon.

Hoi An really was a beautiful place among many places of beauty in Vietnam.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

R rated Hoi An


I think it was 2001 when R and I travelled from the north of Viet Nam to the south over a couple of weeks in a mixture of planes, minibuses, and the Reunification Express, a train more likely to cause wars than unite people. I believe it is much better now.

My favourite city was Hoi An, somewhere around the middle. It used to be an important port until the river silted up. I am never sure though if it was my favourite town because of one fun night we had there, or if it was just the town.

Our accomodation over the trip was variable, but it wasn't bad in Hoi An, almost western. One afternoon we hired the hotels bicycles and cycled to the beach where we sat under umbrellas on deck chairs with a beautiful expanse of sand in front of us, then the crystal blue sea and on the distant horizon, storm clouds gathered. My bicycle was pink and it wobbled badly and the tyres were a bit flat. Did not have to wear a helmet, so the hair stayed good.

We quickly found a favourite restaurant in Hoi An and no matter how hard I have tried, I can never find the pork salad I had in this restaurant, in Melbourne. It was to die for. Sublime.

You have probably heard the warning about not drinking drinks with ice in them in them in Asian countries. We laughed a lot when the bicycle cart tipped over and all the ice fell off on to the ground. But the vendor just picked it all up and put it back on the cart. I suppose the bad bits that had touched the ground would melt away.

We walked past a large factory/shop and a tout came out to entice us in. We promised to come back later. We never would have but he stuck with us for a bit as we walked. He was quite sweet. "Is this man your boyfriend?", he asked me. "No", I replied, "he is my father", I replied. I did have him hooked into believing R was my father for a short time. Once he knew he wasn't, there was much jocularity. Just to get rid of him, we promised we would come to his shop later in the day.

We were back in the centre of town later and we thought, what the heck. We went into his shop. His prices were good and the factory quickly made R a black tee to fit. He asked us if we would like to meet up later. We said ok, and named a bar that we intending visiting that evening. It was a place where your Euro backpacker goes if they are a bit flush with funds. It was quite a good bar in a trendy/grungy style, called I think Champa Bar. We had earlier dined at a restaurant overlooking the river. Tres manifique.

He eventually turned up at the bar, late in the Asian way (heavy traffic was the problem, in a town where vehicles are banned in the city centre) and we had one drink and then he invited us to his friend's cafe. He said it was a cafe for locals. I thought it would be out in the countryside and we were risking life and limb but then we had already survived the Reunification Express.

He whistled up a couple of motor bikes and they took us not too far to the Can Am Bridge over the Hoi An River.

The rest later.

Beware children

I made a comment on someone's blog once about a link to my blog on their home page. This person has children, who read his blog. Whether they click on linked bloggers or not, I don't know. I was a bit concerned about something I wrote and I did not particularly like the idea of children reading it. I think he commented back that he thought it was an interesting point and he would think about it. I am sure he is the type of father who would closely watch what the kiddies were looking at or doing on the net, but not all are.

And, I don't think that it is a bad thing that kids know about gay people and their lives through blogs. But when a blog gets a bit explicit, well a line has to be drawn somewhere. If kids want to hunt out risque stuff, they can easily do so, but it ought not be presented to them on a platter. I suppose my blog is not really explicit, but it does get close with a few posts. My nightmare is of a gay teen reading my blog and thinking I am a role model. Just musing out loud.

I love to laugh, long and loud and clear

The subject title is just for you Rosanna.

When I arrived home from work at eleven this evening, there was a repeat of a Benny Hill show. I remember him fondly, but not well. I clearly recall him running in the park after a buxom blonde. (Can some ejukated person tell me if there is an e in blond or not? I thought there was, and then I thought there wasn't, but I am sure there is. The bleach in my youth must have soaked into my brain)

I seem to remember that he wrote some of the material he performed, but no doubt there were a team of writers for the show. I also heard that he was a perfectionist so far as his performance went.

It really shows. His timing was masterful, his facial expressions superb, the material almost all good. Perhaps what I saw was a compilation best of, but even so, the man was brilliant.

I don't think his later life was much chop after his show was axed, but it really means he went out while flying high.

Anway, after a pig stressful day at work, it was nice to have a good out loud laugh.

Naughty Highriser

I did a terrible thing today. I may yet get spanked for such carelessness. But it was an accident. I am still coming to terms with the new technology.

Soon after the big screen LCD arrived, we quickly realised that the only way to listen to it was through the sound system. Now for just normal radio listening and hearing the spoken voice properly, the sound system volume level would be on about 12 to 15. But when using it to watch tv, it needs to be between 25 and 30. Guess who forgot to turn it down before switching from tv to radio? Guess what sort of head banging music was playing on the radio?


Guess who's partner just happened to be bent over with his ear right next to the speaker?